Why Are Interior Piers Installed for Foundation Repair?

When you find signs of your home experiencing foundation settlement, it’s usually the exterior that is affected. There are some instances where the interior is also affected, which is an unsettling feeling that can affect your peace of mind. Thankfully, your interior can be fixed by installing interior piers.

What are interior piers? Why would I need them? How are they installed? What can I expect through the installation process? 

Dalinghaus Construction can answer so you know what to expect for your foundation repair project.

Dalinghaus Construction has inspected over 10,000 homes, repairing 2,000 homes with a large portion of those projects involving interior pier installation. We’ve informed plenty of homeowners of what to expect through their installation process, implemented the foundation repair, and provided them peace of mind.

Where and why interior piers are installed for foundation repair

Interior piers can be installed on both slab-on-grade and raised foundations. For slab foundations, they’re known as slab piers. For raised, they’re installed on an interior stem wall or footing. 

You might have an interior footing or grade beams that need lifting if you’re experiencing foundation settlement in the center of your home, which requires access holes that need to be cut into your foundation to access the footing.

Interior piers are installed if you’re experiencing additional settlement in the interior of your home.

How a production team determines what type of pier will be used

As for the types of piers used, they’ll typically be push piers or helical piers if it’s going on a footing. Push piers can use the concrete footing and weight of the home to be hydraulically pushed into the ground.

Both types of piers are bracketed into load-bearing walls to hold up your home.

If it’s strictly a slab pier, we use helical piers since the house isn’t exerting enough weight to hydraulically push down a push pier. Helical piers use helices to screw into the ground until they reach competent soil. They are then attached to a bracket designed for your slab.

Regardless of the foundation or footing, a hole will be cut in your floor for access. So you should prepare for damaged flooring. That said, carpet or wood can be pulled up without damage.

Interior piers aren’t always installed with exterior underpinnings

Houses endure foundation settlement in different ways. Sometimes only the exterior footings need to be addressed, a part of the interior sinks, or both are necessary. Every home experiences settlement differently.

Typically only doing interior underpinnings doesn’t happen, but it can. They usually come about if your home experienced a water leak in that area, or caused by something else. Usually, the soil under the interior isn’t as affected since it isn’t as exposed to the elements.

Interior piers can add extra time to your foundation repair

For around every six interior piers installed, expect another day to day and a half added to the project. The process adds additional inspections, timing to repour the concrete, Dowling the steel into the existing slab, and another inspection after the interior concrete is poured.

You might think concrete is just concrete, but where it’s applied matters. Interior concrete requires everything to be back in correctly. It makes sense since the entire point is to repair your foundation correctly.

The installation process is messy

You won’t be thinking of supermodels during the installation process. If anything, you’ll be thinking of the show Dexter. Plastic is everywhere around the room where the production team needs to work.

confused dexter

Slab piers will be less messy, but there will still be plenty of dust during the process.

Either way, interior pier installation for foundation repair is not clean work. However, any good foundation repair company should be excellent at cleaning up afterward, as well as containing the entirety of the mess in as small of an area as possible during the process.

Foundation repair companies do not cover your flooring

This will be with any company you go with. You’ll need to hire a separate contractor to install flooring or do it manually.

Most times the flooring will be removed. That’s unless you prefer to patch your floor or hire a company that will make it look like nothing happened. 

You can sometimes get away with removing a portion of your floor if you have extra tile, but you likely won’t find the same style with older homes. 

You need to move your stuff from the room where the interior piers are installed

Again, this will be with any foundation repair company you choose. So your furniture, nick nacks, the blu ray box set of the extended versions of The Lord of the Rings, pictures on the walls, and grandma’s fine china. 

For wall pictures, the vibrations could cause those family photos you’ve proudly displayed to fall off the walls. 

You don’t have to move out of your home

Finding a temporary place to stay isn’t required, but you have to accept the inside of your home is a construction project for the duration of your foundation repair.

And we do our best to not restrict you if you need to go through the room we’re working in. Its preferred foot traffic is as minimal as possible, but it’s your home.

There are additional costs

The cost of the piers stays the same (between $2,500-$3,500 depending on the depth they need to be installed), but the additional concrete applied will cost extra, as well as if the footing is deeper.

If interior piers are part of the project proposal, you can decide not to have them installed for your foundation repair

Everyone’s situation is different, and you might not be interested in adding in the interior piers, whether from a financial hardship or you have alternate plans than what’s proposed.

If you’re electing to have your home raised, not installing interior piers will limit the amount of lift. If there isn’t support in the middle, you won’t be able to maximize your lift.

If you don’t want to lift, you wouldn’t have a warranty on the area interior piers would have been installed.

However, installing the interior piers is better than doing half the job. The portion of the interior affected is still susceptible to foundation settlement. The interior SHOULDN’T sink after, but foundation settlement can still happen in an unsupported area. 

Schedule a free foundation inspection

You’ve learned why interior piers are needed, where they’re installed, and what to expect for the installation process. Dalinghaus Construction wants you to be informed so you can make the best decision when proceeding with your foundation repair. 

Now be sure to schedule foundation evaluations with multiple foundation repair companies. That way you have multiple opinions to help your peace of mind.

Learn why you should have multiple bids through our article Should You Get Multiple Foundation Repair Bids? (How You Benefit).

Schedule a free 60-90 minute foundation inspection with Dalinghaus Construction to see if you need interior piers to support your home. 

For additional questions, call us at (877) 360-9227 or click the button below to schedule your free evaluation today!

WRITTEN BY

Brian Dalinghaus

Brian is one of the Co-Founders of Dalinghaus Construction. He has been in the foundation repair industry since 2005. During his career, he has been associated with helping over 4,000 homes and structures throughout California and Arizona.

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